Summer Car Cleaning Hacks: Tips and Tricks for a Spotless Interior

A person vacuums out the fabric of their car’s back seats.

The start of summer opens the door to fun under the sun and plenty of adventures on the road. It can also be the perfect opportunity for a comprehensive car cleaning session, as the hot and humid weather can cause unpleasant smells and stains to build up. Whether your car needs a lot of attention or just a little extra care, summer is the ideal time to refresh your vehicle and keep it in top shape.

Cleaning out your car may seem straightforward at first, but getting everything spotless can sometimes be quite challenging. Thankfully, Kennedy Transmission is here to help with a collection of expert summer car cleaning hacks to assist you in the journey. These tricks target everything from dust and debris to stubborn stains and odors, things that prevent your car from looking and smelling fresh throughout the season.

Continue reading for our top car cleaning tips specifically tailored to help tidy up your car’s interior. With these tricks up your sleeve, keeping your vehicle clean this summer will be a breeze!

Get Rid of Dust and Debris

The best way to begin the process of summer cleaning your car is to conduct a complete removal of any accumulated dust and debris. Take out a soft bristle brush or a microfiber cloth and carefully sweep away dirt from the dashboard, seats, and carpets. For the best interior car cleaning results, thoroughly vacuum out your car and the floor mats. If you don’t have a way to plug in your vacuum near your car at home, many gas stations offer free or cheap vacuum services.

In general, it’s important that you devote some time and special attention to the often-neglected nooks and crannies of your car. This can include between the seats, inside glove compartments, and underneath the foot pedals. Embracing this meticulous approach will reward you with a fresh and impeccable feeling every time you slide behind the wheel.

Clean Out the Vents

While not easily visible, lots of dust and other debris can accumulate in your car’s air vents over time. Cleaning can be a meticulous task, but it can be simplified with this easy car cleaning hack. Use a foam brush to reach deep inside the vents and remove all the accumulated dirt and dust buried inside without damaging or scratching the surfaces.

Tackle Stubborn Stains

Summer can be messy, especially if you have kids, visit the beach, or frequently eat in your car. If you have stubborn stains on your car’s upholstery or fabric, there are some car cleaning tips that can help. Your best bet is to mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water and apply the mixture to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then blot the area with a clean cloth. For tough stains, you can use a carpet cleaner or an upholstery cleaner, as long as you follow the instructions carefully.

Get Rid of Pet Hair

A cute labrador retriever smiles and lays in the backseat of a car with a cloth interior.

If you’re a pet owner who regularly takes their furry friend along for car rides, then you know how difficult it can be to get pet hair out of car seats, carpets, and any other fabrics. However, using a lint roller can save you a lot of trouble. After you’ve vacuumed, simply run the lint roller over the surfaces of your car’s interior and you’ll be amazed at how effective it is at picking up pet hair!

Eliminate Lingering Odors

Summer heat and humidity can often lead to unpleasant odors in your car. If you want to make your car smell better, start by doing a sweep to get rid of any trash, receipts, or food remnants. Then use a cloth dampened with white vinegar to wipe down the interior surfaces, including the seats, dashboard, door panels, and any arm rests or other places that get touched often.

You can also set a bowl or propped-open box of baking soda in your car overnight to absorb any remaining smells, as its natural properties help dissipate nasty odors. Another option is to use an odor eliminator spray, but make sure to choose one that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

Optimize Your Organization

Keeping your car neat and organized is a constant battle, especially if you’re hauling around kids. However, there are several car organization hacks that can make your life a little more convenient. One thing you can do is use a shoe organizer on the back of your seats to store items like toys, umbrellas, or other supplies. If you don’t have a car trash can, a cheap alternative is hanging a grocery bag to collect any garbage.

Silicone cupcake liners in your cup holders can catch crumbs and spills, making them easier to clean. A small envelope/file organizer in the glove compartment can come in handy for toll tickets and other documents like your registration and insurance information. Lastly, small plastic bins in the trunk can help hold groceries or sports equipment along with containing emergency supplies like water, jackets, or a first aid kit.

Clean the Dashboard and Controls

Your car’s dashboard and controls can get sticky and dusty in the summer heat, whether from frequent use or some melted ice cream dripping onto your fingers. To clean them, use a microfiber cloth dampened with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Wipe down the steering wheel, gear shift, and controls carefully, making sure not to get any liquid into the electronics. If your car has leather seats, use a leather-friendly cleaning product to keep them in good condition.

Give Your Car a Spa Treatment

A man sprays his car with a hose as he washes it outside under the summer sun.

Lastly, give your car some extra TLC and clean the exterior surfaces to keep it looking and smelling fresh. Apply a coat of protectant to the dashboard and door panels to prevent them from fading or cracking, and use a leather conditioner on your seats to keep them soft and supple. Don’t forget to wash your car regularly too to keep it looking shiny and new, either by hand at home or at a professional car wash.

Give Your Car Top-Notch Care With Kennedy Transmission

While keeping your car looking pristine is manageable, handling mechanical issues that come up is much more difficult. It may feel overwhelming, but with the help of Kennedy Transmission, keeping your car in working order is easy. Our team of highly skilled mechanics is prepared to service your vehicle at our Minneapolis garage as well as our other auto repair shops across Minnesota. Don’t hesitate to reach out online or drop by in-person for all your car maintenance needs!

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